Yes – your lights must be turned on at night when you ride your bike at night in Florida. Florida’s bicycle regulations provide that:
- All bicyclists who ride their bikes between sunset and sunrise must turn on their front and rear lamps. The front lamp must emit a white light that’s visible from at least 500ft to the front, and the rear lamp must emit a red light that’s visible from at least 600ft to the rear. The rear of the bike must also have a reflector.
Law enforcement officers can issue a verbal warning and bike safety brochure to bicyclists who break this law or a fine and citation, depending on the circumstances. In addition, if you get injured in a bicycle crash, the other party would definitely argue that you caused or contributed to the crash if you were riding your bike without a light at night.
Who Is Liable For The Damages in a Bicycle Accident?
When you get injured in a bicycle crash, you will have to figure out which party caused the crash and whom you can hold liable for your crash-related damages. You must determine whether the other driver’s negligent actions led to the crash, resulting in your injuries and whether your own actions contributed to the accident.
There are various ways a driver can be negligent, such as driving over the speed limit, running a red light or stop light, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and swerving into the bicycle lane. A bicycle accident claim based on negligence must prove the following elements:
- The driver violated their legal duty to drive with reasonable care
- This violation resulted in the crash
- The crash caused damages to the injured bicyclist
Sometimes, however, a bicyclist can contribute to a bicycle crash due to negligence, such as failing to turn on their lights at night, running a stop sign or red light, or suddenly riding into traffic. Florida follows the comparative fault rules when establishing damages in a personal injury claim.
If your actions somehow contributed to the accident, the damages you may recover would be decreased by your percentage of fault for the crash. This also means that even if you were partly at fault for the crash, you could still be awarded damages in a personal injury claim.
Let’s say you got into a crash because you and another driver ran your respective stop signs in an intersection. But you were riding slowly, and the other driver was drunk and speeding. The court finds that you were 15% at fault for the crash while the other driver was 85% at fault. If your injuries and associated losses amount to $150,000, you can recover $127,500 or 85% of your total damages.
Reach Out to a Skilled Boca Raton Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
Liability in bicycle crashes isn’t always straightforward. If you get hurt in a bike accident in FL, consult with our Boca Raton bicycle accident attorney now. You can contact Demand The Limits and schedule your free consultation at 561-600-3555 or online with our Boca Raton bicycle accident attorney.